Valley News -

Police: Man talked down from Rancho California Road bridge

Traffic on I-15 was at a standstill for two hours


Last updated 9/14/2018 at 4:35pm

TEMECULA - A man who was threatening to jump from a bridge over Interstate 15 in Temecula today prompted authorities to partially close the freeway, causing a major traffic jam extending into San Diego County, until first responders safely removed the individual from the overpass 90 minutes later.

The unidentified man was spotted about 1:25 p.m. standing on the edge of the Rancho California Road overpass, looking down on the No. 3 lane of northbound I-15, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The agency said a bystander attempted to persuade the man to come back to the pedestrian walkway, but he refused, and CHP officers and Riverside County sheriff's deputies arrived a few minutes later.

As crisis negotiations began, the CHP decided to completely close all northbound lanes at Rancho California, and within a half-hour, vehicles were stacked up in a queue stretching 10 miles south into the community of Rainbow, according to reports from the scene.

A SigAlert was issued shortly before 2 p.m. due to the traffic jam, and motorists were diverted onto state Route 79 and surrounding frontage roads in Temecula and Rainbow, according to the CHP.

Firefighters and law enforcement officers successfully got the man off of the ledge about 3 p.m., but an official at the CHP's Temecula office was unable to provide specific details.

There was no word on why he was threatening suicide.


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